It’s All in the Numbers: Instagram, Tumblr Step Up Metrics for Brands

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With marketers pouring buckets of cash and resources into social media campaigns, everyone’s wondering: Does it work?

Instagram is now offering a new three-pronged dashboard, the first suite of real-time, self-serve tools for marketers to manage their Instagram accounts and understand the impact of their campaigns.

The “ad insights” tool tracks performance via impressions, reach and engagement, while a second, “account insights,” delivers data on non-paid content posted. A third “ad staging” tool enables previews of creative before it goes live on Instagram.

“An advertiser will now have access to a real-time campaign summary and data showing how their target audience is responding to each of their sponsored photos,” Instagram said in a blog post. “Also, brand marketers will be able to better understand the best time of day to post a photo or video.”

While Instagram had previously been providing brands with reports about their campaigns, that data is now available directly to them.[more]

“We’ve talked to brands and businesses a bunch over the last six months, and these tools are largely based on their feedback,” Instagram product manager, Jeff Kanter, told the Wall Street Journal.  “It’s important for us to provide measurement to really prove the platform… We heard from brands that they wanted more insight into how people engage with their organic content and ads.”

The program rolls out to current ad partners including Levi’s, Hollister, Banana Republic and Taco Bell with a full roll-out in the near future.

Meanwhile, Yahoo, trying to leverage its $1 billion investment in Tumblr, is partnering with Ditto Labs to track brand logos in user posts.

“At this time, there are no advertising implications for Tumblr,” a company spokeswoman said, saying the deal with Ditto is a Tumblr “firehose partnership” giving them access to nearly 130 million photos uploaded daily by Tumblr users, “to help [Ditto’s] clients understand visual conversations happening around their brands.”

“We’re able to find brand logos and patterns inside of public photos shared on social media,” added Ditto CEO, David Rose, and “We can also tell if people are smiling or not in a picture, as well as the type of environment a person is in.”

Monetizing Tumblr remains obscure, exacerbated by slowing growth which ComScore reports as a cross-audience decline from 46.6 million in June 2013 to 43 million in June 2014.

The race to monetize using deeper analytics kicked-off in January with Pinterest’s purchase of VisualGraph and Google’s acquisition of DeepMind. 

“This type of monetization is indeed attractive to social platforms,” said Richenda Vermeulen, director of social media agency ntegrity. “It means they can generate revenue without detracting from the user experience. Mining visual content means they won’t have to charge users for their service or potentially limit the amount of advertising needed.” 

—Sheila is a New York-based writer/producer, co-founder of Third Eye Media and an avid believer in the power of the media for change. Connect with her on Twitter: @srshayon

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